Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Another Step Back - Part 4

Wednesday September 17, 1975
Minneapolis, Minnesota


Upon returning to the family residence in the Northeast section of Minneapolis Boatman fired up the computer workstation in the combined office/den and updated the mission log with his discovery of Stephanie Cook and the initiation of contact with her. He didn’t mention any of the kisses or other aspects of the contact.

How the Hell am I going to explain this to Alice? He thought.

Alice had been born aboard the Integral, the last sublight starship to be launched from the Solar System to Alpha Centauri. She was twelve standard years old when the vessel arrived in the system. At the time of arrival the ship had degenerated into a virtual gulag and Alice, under the alphanumeric designation that was tattooed onto her left forearm at birth had been assigned to sexually gratify the leader of the collective. But the leader would eventually be arrested and put to death for his crimes.

Alice would eventually be adopted by the third incarnation of Evelyn Boatman and his wife Doctor Cheryl Boatman. She would grow up to become a surgeon and as an adult she would strongly resemble the pre-reformation actress Halle Berry.

Any form of deception was clearly adversarial behavior and therefore was not an option in their relationship.

Just tell her the truth–all of it.

He did.

Upon returning to the residence from her teaching position at the University of Minnesota Medical School Alice sat down and listened calmly as her adoptive father described the events of the day. She thought for a moment before calmly responding.

“Dad,” she said, “you’re certainly a mensch but are clearly not a knight in shining armor, and you are certainly not a paladin class character from Dungeons And Dragons.”

He nodded, she continued.

“And your habit of virtually screaming and leaping at problems like a Kzinti may work for technical problems but it can and will lead to serious failures on the Human level.”

“So what should I do?” He asked.

Again she responded calmly.

“You should continue to do what you have normally done, once you become involved with a problem you rationally work on it to the full solution. The thing is that this version of Stephanie will not grow up to be the same person she was on the original timeline. And she certainly won’t shtup the boy who impregnated her on the first timeline either.”

“Of course not.”

“We will show her the better way to live--we have to.”

Boatman blinked.

“We will?” He said.

Alice replied.

“She’s practically a member of the family now, assuming of course that she doesn’t scream and run away when you tell her the truth. Practically all the two of you have to do now is set the wedding date. And if Stephanie is going to become a member of our family then I certainly will do everything I can to see that she properly learns to live as a fully rational person.”

“Of course.” He replied.

He now asked his own question to her.

“So how was your day?”

The answer had a clearly sarcastic tone.

“It was fun.”

“In what way?”

“I had an encounter with a campus commie in the faculty lounge. It was Thomas Archer of the English Department and he apparently believed that I was an actual native American Black woman and would seriously fall for his Progressive dreck.”

“Of course not.” Evelyn replied.

“So after the idiot had generated his noise about the wonderful things he was doing for the black people I replied to him: ‘So what, we’re all human.’

“That had to have twisted his knickers.” He said.

“Oh yes, it certainly did.” Said Alice. “There was even applause from some of the other faculty members present.”

Evelyn now mentioned the next event of the school day.

“So I also got sent to the office, apparently I severely annoyed an indoctrinator when I explained the actual difference between Democracy and the American concept of a Constitutional Republic.”

“Well it was part of basic citizenship education back home on Zion and Eden.” Said Alice.

“And back on Ganymede and the rest of the Outer System when I was growing up.”

Then there were his own general efforts at self education. The twenty five year transit between the Solar System and Alpha Centauri also provided a very clear and very firm meaning to the concept of boredom. Boatman had not actually performed a complete read through of the shipboard library aboard the Eagle but he came very close to it.

“So you twisted his knickers?” She said.

“Yes, absolutely.” He replied.

Of course there was no point in mentioning that the Social Studies teacher was an obvious flaming queer.

There was tomorrow to prepare for.

At the family home Stephanie and her close friend Vicky Grant were doing some of their homework together. They were also discussing the events of the day.

Vicky had roughly the same height as Stephanie and was at the same level of physical growth as well. She had long dark brown hair and wore a large pair of eyeglasses.

“So you now have a new boyfriend?” Said Vicky.

“Oh yes!” Stephanie replied. “Evelyn is unbelievable! He’s a real gentleman and he’s so mature!”

“I heard about what happened in the lunch room.”

“Yes,” said Stephanie, “I was talking to Evelyn and Joey came up and made a scene. But Evelyn just was a real man through the whole thing and Joey just walked away.”

“And he kissed you.” Said Vicky.

“Oh yes!” Stephanie exclaimed. “He...he...I don’t know how to describe it...he’s so mature!”

Then Vicky spoke again.
“He was in Mr. Dronning’s class today, and he made Dronning scream at him.”


Dronning had a reputation as an easygoing teacher.

Vicky continued.

“Evelyn said something I never heard before, that the United States was a Constitutional Republic and not a Democracy. And that Democracy was not a form of government. And then he told Mr. Dronning that he was ignorant.”

Stephanie could only stare at this point.

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